Curfew will hit veggie, fruit supply chain, say traders

Covid-19 night curfew will hit vegetable, fruit supply chain, say traders

Some even say it would trigger panic and crowd markets

Wholesalers have to receive the produce that arrives only post-midnight hours. They say the curfew would put a strain on the supply chain. Credit: DH File Photo/Irshad Mahammad

Vegetable and fruit merchants in KR Market and Kalasipalyam are shocked over the sudden announcement of the nightly curfew that would badly disrupt their business.

The wholesalers have to receive the produce that arrives only post-midnight hours and say the curfew would put a strain on the supply chain.

The government may have allowed trucks, but the traders need porters to load and unload the consignments, said Manjunath, a wholesale vegetable trader. “Our labourers have no ID cards and are refusing to turn up fearing police crackdown. Though the curfew ends at 5 am, by the time we get labourers and sort out the consignment, it would be 8 am or 9 am in the market itself. How are we to supply the materials to retailers in the city and adjoining districts if labourers don’t turn up between 3 am to 4 am?”

A wholesale merchant at the Dasanapura APMC said some trucks come from the neighbouring states. “What if they are stuck at the border?” he said. “We may have to arrange for vehicles to get workers during the night. Even then, there is no guarantee that we could make timely delivery (of materials) to other
districts.”

Sridhar, another trader, said the curfew will negatively impact both wholesalers and farmers. “It will delay inter-district transport of materials,” he said. “Every day, nearly 400 trucks and goods vehicles drive in and out with commodities during the night.”

Anand Giri, a wholesale vegetable merchant at KR Market, questioned the use of night curfew when people will be sleeping. “Does the government want people  to crowd the market during the day?” he asked. “The curfew will only trigger panic, force people to get out of their homes in large numbers and get infected.”